Mr. Merlin Harn - A Guardian Angel with a Heart of Gold
Mr. Merlin Harn was recently honored with the Shining World Hero Award by Supreme Master Ching Hai for exemplifying “the true spirit of sacrifice for our fellow humans,” and living the ancient Biblical verse, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
On September 1, 2007, Merlin Harn and his wife, Teresa, were returning from a shopping trip when they observed two unattended children playing near railroad tracks. The 3-year-old boy was actually wandering on the tracks. Teresa, who was driving, pulled the car over out of concern for the safety of the children and immediately called 911 to alert the police. While she was on the phone, the crossing lights, bells, and whistles went off as a 100-car 11,000-ton train, moving at a speed of about 35 miles per hour, fast approached the boy. Mr. Harn, upon seeing the oncoming train, raced to the tracks, grabbed the boy, and carried him to safety, seconds before the train passed. It was a wonderful coincidence that Mr. Harn was wearing running shoes that day instead of sandals as he usually does.
The Award was presented to Mr. Merlin Harn by the Illinois Center News Team on April 25, Golden Year 6 (2009), in front of Teresa, who shared in the rescue, and their son, who beamed with pride. When interviewed, Mr. Harn said that during the incident, his only focus was on saving the boy, and he did not hesitate for a second. He mentioned how surprised he was at the public response and the attention he and his wife received, which made him realize that people love stories that give them hope and inspiration, especially at times like these. He was also given a special gift from Gordon Hill, the engineer who was operating the train on that unforgettable day; the Carnegie Heroes Medal; the Civilian Award of Gallantry Plaque from the local police department; and recognition from the United States House of Representatives. In addition to that, his son’s school invited him to give a talk on the spirit of courage and caring for others.
Upon receiving the crystal Award plaque, Master’s acknowledgment letter, a hero jacket, and other gifts, Mr. Harn sincerely expressed his appreciation for the encouragement and recognition. May his gallant and honorable actions remind more people of their inner, noble qualities, to make this planet the abode of saints with hearts of gold.
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